Poinciana, created by Badir Awe and Ronnie James Hughes, aims to become the premier arts festival in the Caribbean, and this year spans three days from Jan. 29 – 31.
Awe, owner of Awesome Productions and co-founder of the Cayman Music Collective; and Hughes, an entrepreneur and martial artist, have worked together on previous projects before uniting again to establish Poinciana.
“After our experiences with a network of artists in The Devil You Know and the UNLIKE festival we became aware of the abundance of local creative talent on-island,” explains Awe. “We saw this local pool of talent was underestimated and under-utilized. We created Poinciana to nurture and showcase this talent to help the Cayman art scene come into fruition.”
The festival itself may take place in January, but there have been events taking place in the run-up, including a launch concert in April of 2015 featuring over a dozen local musicians and artists, and a fundraiser at Krav Maga Cayman benefitting the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.
The team hopes that as well as creating an annual festival, they will continue to hold satellite events year-round. “Poinciana believes the arts in Cayman can be sustainable, and as such, the festival intends to have various events throughout each year” says Awe.
The 2016 festival opens with a day of music, art, food and fireworks in George Town, complete with a street dance to round off the evening.
The following day, film lovers can flock to Regal Cinemas at Camana Bay to see screenings of films, documentaries and music videos made in Cayman, as well as a selection of international films. Panel discussions and an after party are also scheduled.
The festival culminates with a black tie awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Harquail Theatre, which will celebrate both artists and patrons. A vast selection of awards will be given on the night, including Best Feature Film, Best Underwater film, Best Animated Film, Best Band, Best Male/Female Artist, Best Sculpture Artist, Best Oil Painting, Best Graphic Design, and a Lifetime Achievement in Art Award among many others.
Nominated work includes local documentaries such as Bright Spot by Tamer Soliman and Rob Tyler, and Invasion LF by Frans de Backer; music videos including Josh Pearl’s My Homies, and The Neverines’ Bloodlines; artwork by Marc Laurenson, Lyle Anderton, and Gordon Solomon; and music albums including Money Train’s Get Familiar, and Clever Knots’ All Are Suspect.
As well as recognizing Cayman’s present artistic talent, the festival will serve to nurture Cayman’s future generations of artists. As such, any and all net profits from Poinciana events will be invested directly back into Cayman’s arts scene via grants for studio sessions, live gigs, film sponsorships, art supplies etc.
Tickets for all ticketed events are available from the Epic Day office in The Strand. For more information on the festival and its events, go to Poinciana.ky.